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Slack Chelsea are frustrating Jose Mourinho

Mourinho aims a barb at rival Martinez after Naismith treble cranks up pressure on Blues

By Simon Hart

Published 14/09/2015

Magic number: Aaron Lennon helps Steven Naismith celebrate his third goal against Chelsea
Magic number: Aaron Lennon helps Steven Naismith celebrate his third goal against Chelsea
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho walked out of an interview when asked about Everton defender John Stones

Jose Mourinho and failure are not easy bedfellows. He has been known to hit out at everybody from referees to rival coaches to his own team doctor when things do not go his way - and Saturday at Goodison Park was no exception.

Chelsea have made their worst top-flight start since 1986 and Mourinho's spiky side resurfaced in a post-match exchange with Everton manager Roberto Martinez, which showed just how the champions' troubles are eating away at the Portuguese.

After Chelsea's 3-1 defeat, Mourinho, on his way to his post-match press conference, passed Martinez as the Spaniard was addressing a small group of reporters beneath Goodison's Main Stand and duly muttered a complaint about having to wait his turn.

"Roberto, next time tell me (to) go before you because we have to travel," he said.

"I don't control that" was Martinez's reply, prompting Mourinho (right) to utter an expletive as he disappeared through a door.

Even before kick-off, Mourinho had walked out of an interview when asked about John Stones, the Everton defender he failed to sign.

The ensuing 90 minutes - with Chelsea outplayed by an impressively tenacious home side - did nothing to improve his mood.

Mourinho might have spoken afterwards about a shortage of confidence and luck, yet the basic truth is the side who laboured to their third loss in five league fixtures looked a pale shadow of the one that blew Everton away in a 6-3 victory on the same ground during their storming start 12 months ago.

Chelsea are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City having lost as many league games as in the whole of 2014-15 and their goals against column shows a total (12) that they did not reach until December last year. At the other end, Diego Costa, with just one goal this term, looked more likely to get sent off than score.

Martinez quipped that he preferred Mourinho after the Portuguese had won - "When he beat us 6-3, he was such a nice man" - but did concur with his view that Everton had taken their chances when it mattered.

"We were very clinical," said the Spaniard. Everton owed that precision to Steven Naismith, who stepped off the bench after Muhamed Besic's early injury and exploited the space granted by Chelsea's defence to score a terrific hat-trick.

Nemanja Matic pulled one back for Chelsea at 2-0 down, but it proved irrelevant.

Martinez said Saturday's display underlined why he did not consider selling Scot Naismith when Norwich made an £8m deadline-day offer.

"If we are going to be a big team competing for things we need a large squad," he said. "You can't just rely on 11 players. As you saw with injuries, it's good to have a player like Steven who has the right mentality and sets the standard."

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic accepts the stuttering champions need to raise their game - but is convinced one win can kickstart their campaign.

Ivanovic said: "We need one big win to come back.

"We are not playing as badly as the results are showing but we have to wake up.

"I think at the moment we are being punished for all our mistakes. The only way we can change is to work hard and be ready for the next game, so it is like a final."

Chelsea will hope to spring into life as they launch their latest Champions League campaign against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

Ivanovic said: "The next game is very important for us. I hope we will start winning the games soon."

Scotland international Naismith was pleased with his contribution. He said: "It is the hardest part of the game to do, get goals, but when you get two and there is so much time left you definitely think you can get the third.

"The third one is the one that gives you relief that you have got your hat-trick, but overall the game was pretty tight at that moment."

Naismith now hopes his performance can lead to greater involvement in Martinez's side.

"It has been a tough start for me," he said. "I have not played as many games. It is hard to keep taking when you are on the bench but you have got to be ready.

"I have got confidence in my ability and when you get the opportunities you have got to prove that. Here I have done that and hopefully there is a bright future for me."

There may have been a second plane protest against the club's board before kick-off but on the pitch, Everton's performance hinted at a brighter season, with Stones and teenage left-back Brendan Galloway among those to excel.

What a difference a year makes for both teams.

Belfast Telegraph

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